This painting is from a recent body of work entitled "Don't Forget about me."
It measures 18 x 24 inches and is painted on a wooden panel with a 2 inch cradle, ready to hang. Actual diary text is screen-printed over the painting and collage. Please read my artist's statement below to learn more about the work.
DON'T FORGET ABOUT ME
This body of work was wholly inspired by a woman named Marge Custer, b. 1909, residing in
San Ysidro, California in 1984. I purchased her diary on ebay for $9.00.
Diaries and journals, books typically filled with one’s innermost thoughts and aspirations, have
always fascinated me. In my search for these written-in tomes, I found most subjects chose not to
divulge much. I found diary after diary, religiously filled with the day’s weather and errands.
My own grandmother had one just like that, and while I longed for more information, the lack
of it became equally intriguing. In this form, what is the purpose of a diary? Simply a record of
one’s life- a window into a person’s routine, very relatable, normal life. But a memoir nonetheless.
In Marge’s diary, I found the mundane, but also something more. She is 74 years old at the start
of the diary. She has no children, is retired and lives alone. She hates housework. She has a cat
named General. She has a boyfriend whom she simply (and endearingly) refers to as “M.” She
spends her days making trips to grocery stores where she collects sweepstakes forms, which she
fills out and enters daily. Throughout the year, many of her aging friends pass away.
Marge is lonely. She misses her sister and parents, and often feels “blue.”
The diary gives the impression that she had no children or family to speak of, and so, no one
treasured her carefully recorded days.
In these pieces, I made it my mission to illustrate Marge’s life through the objects she surrounded
herself with. Despite the sadness that sometimes seemed to permeate the end of her life, she
continued to write letters to her “girls,” and dutifully entered contests in the hopes of a big win.
Marge is no celebrity or historical figure, but she left a legacy in paper form.
These pieces are as much about Marge as the fleetingness of all our own lives.
To be forgotten is the worst fate after death. To be remembered is to live on.